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My Garden Diary

November and December 2014

Copyright © 2014 by David E. Ross

Many years ago, when I first started my Web site, I created an online diary of my gardening activities and observations. However, with work and the commute from Hell, I was often so tired I had to choose between maintaining my garden and maintaining my diary. Sometimes, I did neither. In 1998, I stopped my diary and removed the pages from my Web site.

Now I am retired. I am well-rested and have plenty of time to both garden and maintain a diary. This diary is primarily for my own benefit, so that I can look back upon what I did and when. But I thought others might also be interested, so here it is.

Also see What's Blooming in My Garden Now?


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Entries are in reverse order (latest at the top). Daily, I might stoop to pull a weed or use a hose to water some potted plants; however, I don't consider those significant gardening activities. Thus, you will not see daily entries. Also, I might accumulate a few entries before updating this page on the Web.

When plants have well-known common names, their scientific names are given only the first time they appear on this page (entry closest to the bottom). There, the common name is in bold or appears as a link to another Web page.

Dates refer to other entries in the same year as the entry in which they appear unless a different year is given. However, they may refer to entries on prior pages.

This diary has been visited times since I started it.

Date and Weather Observations and Activities
9 November

Clear, sunny, and warm

Temp: 69-87
Winter chill: 0
Humidity: 14%
Wind: 3-11

Rain —
This season: 0.33
Days since last: 8

Finished applying gypsum to the front of the house (6 Nov). This included not only the larger part of the pink clover lawn and adjacent shrubs but also the roses, valley white oak (Quercus lobata), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), and the Podocarpus that grows at the west corner of the garage. I rinsed the gypsum through the leaf mulch for the latter plants because the roses only have drip irrigation and the other three get no irrigation at all. Rain (we all hope) will finish dissolving the gypsum into the soil.

Lightly trimmed all three of the Podocarpus. One was interfering with opening and closing the garage door. Another was blocking a lawn sprinkler. The third was blocking the brick path to the front door.

The parlor palm — perhaps Chamaedorea elegans — in the greenhouse window definitely died (12 Oct). Instead of replacing it, I reused its pot for a gift Kalanchoe blossfeldiana that was in a pot far too small. In any case, the greenhouse window had become too crowded.

6 November

Clear, sunny, and hot

Temp: 70-89
Winter chill: 0
Humidity: 10%
Wind: 1-9

Trimmed the dwarf ivy (Hedera helix 'Hahn's') under the liquidambar tree (L. styraciflua) in front.

Broadcast gypsum into the shrub beds and the trimmed ivy in front. Then, I broadcast more gypsum on the smaller part of the front lawn, on the pink clover (Persicaria capitata) between the driveway and the brick walk to the front door. The gypsum should react with the clay soil to make the clay soil more porous so that winter rains (we all hope) will penetrate and not run off. I'll broadcast gypsum on the larger part of the front lawn in a few days.


Rain —
This season: 0.33
Week: 0.33

Weather data are from the Cheeseboro (CHE) weather station, about 2 miles ENE of my house.

The high temperature (°F) is daytime for the indicated date; the low temperature (°F) is for the previous night.

The relative humidity is at noon. (In my garden, it is likely higher than reported, a result of regular irrigation.)

Wind speeds (mph) are average (not peak) low and high, midnight to midnight (subject to later correction for diary entries posted before the end of the day). I also indicate peak wind gusts parenthetically when they are significantly high.

Rain is in inches. Season is the cumulative amount of rainfall from 1 October until 30 September of the following year. Week is the cumulative amount of measurable rainfall from noon seven days ago until noon of the indicated date. If no rain fell in that period, Days since last is reported.

Characterization of the weather (e.g., Clear, sunny, and warm) is purely subjective; for example, "warm" might occur with higher temperatures than "hot" if the former occurs with lower humidity and more breezes than the latter. Also, a day that would normally be characterized as "mild" might instead be "warm" if the immediately previous days were quite cold. Finally, such characterization reflects when I was actually outside and gardening and ignores changes that occur while I am inside.

The signature line I use when writing messages about my garden includes the following:

Climate: California Mediterranean
Sunset Zone: 21 -- interior Santa Monica Mountains with some ocean influence (USDA 10a, very close to Sunset Zone 19)
See also The Climate.
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